On 6 October 2016 RSPCA Victoria released the full report from the independent review of its Inspectorate, along with the organisation’s response to the report and recommendations.
Read the full report
Read RSPCA Victoria’s response

RSPCA Victoria accepts, without reservation, the report and each of its findings and recommendations.

RSPCA Victoria commits to immediately begin the full implementation of every finding and recommendation that is directly within our power to implement, and begin discussions with other agencies to negotiate implementation of the remainder.  

Actions that relate directly to the welfare and safety of our Inspectors in the field will be our first priority for implementation. 

RSPCA Victoria’s Chief Operating Officer is accountable for the implementation of all recommendations in the report, and the Audit Risk and Finance Committee of the Board will oversee implementation progress. 

We expect the majority of implementation will be completed by December 2017, and will report on our progress in our next three annual reports.




RSPCA Victoria takes its animal protection responsibilities very seriously. Our Inspectors are appointed under Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty. 

Our Inspectorate manages welfare and cruelty reports about all pets and companion animals, all horses, and livestock in herds of less than ten. Other agencies manage reports about livestock in larger numbers, and about wildlife. 

The RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate receives more than 10,000 cruelty reports every year, and manages all elements of the investigation from initial inspection through to prosecution. In recent years, cruelty reports to RSPCA Victoria have steadily increased. 

Why conduct an independent review?

RSPCA Victoria is committed to being transparent and accountable with the community about how we use the generous donations we receive, and the funding we get from Government for the Inspectorate.
We also believe that all organisations are obliged to regularly review how they work, and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. So, it’s time for us to take an objective, in-depth look at the size of the animal cruelty problem in Victoria, and weigh up our best approach to tackling it. 

This independent, external review will help us answer three critical questions: 
• What is the scale of animal cruelty in Victoria? 
• What resourcing and approaches do we need to put in place to ensure we are adequately investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty, and meeting community expectations? 
• Are there ways we could use the resources we have right now more effectively and efficiently?

How will the review work?

The Independent Review of RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate will run from May to September 2016.

RSPCA Victoria has appointed former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Neil Comrie AO APM, as Senior Reviewer. Mr Comrie will identify and lead a team of experts to provide him with advice and support as he considers submissions, collects information and prepares his report and recommendations. 

There are four terms of reference for the review: 
1. Describe the scale and scope of the animal welfare and cruelty reports in Victoria.
2. Analyse resourcing and funding levels, and if appropriate, recommend alternative operating, funding and resourcing models.
3. Document RSPCA Victoria’s operational response to reports, including all associated systems and processes, and recommend any improvements that can and should reasonably be made.
4. Document RSPCA Victoria’s approach to prosecution, including all associated systems and processes, and recommend any improvements that can and should reasonably be made.

The review will receive submissions from the Victorian community and other interested parties from 25 May to 8 July, 2016. Mr Comrie and his team will then gather any other information they need, and draft a report responding to the terms of reference. 

We will release a report and our response to the review and recommendations to the public in September this year. 

How can you contribute to the review?

Anyone in the community who believes they have something to contribute to the Senior Reviewer’s understanding or knowledge as they address the terms of reference is welcome to make a submission.

The Independent Review of RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate welcomes suggestions from the community and other interested parties on how best to implement an Inspectorate operating model that takes account of both the current context, and an anticipated future operating environment.

You can make a submission online. We suggest that you read through the information below first as it may help inform your submission.

IMPORTANT: All submissions are made in full confidence, will not be made public and will only be seen by the independent review team to ensure that individuals’ privacy is protected. The online submission site is a secure site and is suitable for uploading sensitive and confidential material.

What should my submission include?

Your submission should provide information that will help guide the Senior Reviewer research, report on and make recommendations about the terms of reference. The submission template will guide you through this process.

You can also include any other information that you believe the Senior Reviewer should consider about the Inspectorate when developing its report and recommendations.

Your submission may contain facts, opinions, arguments or recommendations. 

You are welcome to include any other information that you believe the Senior Reviewer should consider about the Inspectorate when developing the report and recommendations. 

What if I have a question about the submission process?

If you have any questions about the submission process or the review’s terms of reference, please call (03) 9224 2235 or email your query to irrvi@rspcavic.org.au

Key Dates

Submissions Open: 25 May 2016 
Submissions Close: 8 July 2016
Public Report 
 September 2016